When I was in my teens and early 20s, I lived for The X-Files. I had the hots for both Mulder and Scully. And also Krycek, occasionally Skinner, and the cute bearded Lone Gunman. Shoot, I wanted to have Chris Carter's babies. I watched Millenium when that came on, even though it was only peripherally related to The X-Files. I even watched The Lone Gunmen, and it made me weep, but I watched it. I saw the movie on opening night - twice. And in my mind, there is only one movie - I like to think I only imagained the second one in a horrible nightmare.
I had every bit of X-Files merchandise that came out - the books, the VHS tapes, a t-shirt for every day of the week, all of the action figures (even the one that came with a dead body in a bodybag), a clock, and every Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide that featured my beloved FBI agents. I begged my mom to tape all the episodes for me when FX ran the whole series in order, even "Home," the episode with the muderous inbred brothers that couldn't be aired before 11pm after its initial air date.
I fought with my boyfriend at the time because he hated Mulder and Scully, and wonder now how I ever could have dated anyone so dumb. I went to an X-Files convention in New York City in 1999 and met Nicholas Lea. I saw Gillian Anderson do a Q&A where she spoiled the season finale because she didn't realize the episode hadn't aired yet (it was the one when the X-Files office burned down). David Duchovny was in town filming Saturday Night Live that same weekend and I was torn between hating him for not coming to the con and desperately wanting to stalk his sexy ass. I was a complete junkie.
In the last couple of months, I've realized I never stopped being a junkie. I thought maybe my love for Lost had superceded my love for Mulder and Scully. Yes, Lost and I had a hot and heavy relationship, but that show was a total tease. The X-Files and I loved each other, and in the end we just went seperate ways. The second movie was like realizing my beloved ex-show had gotten fat and ugly in our time apart. But some friends and I have been revisitng the good times of the first season on Thursday nights and I now know there will always be a place in my heart for the X.
Some of these first season episodes are still just as shockingly good now as they were almost 20 years ago. The two parter, "Squeeze" and "Tooms" featuring Doug Hutchison, former Lost actor and current babysitter/husband of Courtney Stodden, scared the hell out of me when I was a teenager. (I almost wrote shit, but the opposite happened - I was so scared to use the toilet after watching those episodes that I held my shit in for an unhealthy length of time.) [This is perhaps an overshare, Carey. I'll allow it, because it'll annoy Laura. -Ed.] Hutchison played Eugene Victor Tooms, this weird dude who could elongate his body and sneak through the tiniest of entries (including toilets) to eat peoples' livers.
"Eve" is also in season one. Aside from being the inspiration behind a hideous band name, this episode was also terrifying. Twin girls living 3,000 miles apart exsanguinate their fathers and try to kill Mulder and Scully with digitallis poison. We find out that the girls were part of a genetic experiment featuring extra chromosomes that caused heightened sociopathy and violence.
Both of these episodes were monster of the week type shows, which essentially what The X-Files was for the first season. Season one barely touches on the overarching mythology of the show, which in fact doesn't come into play until Gillian Anderson gets pregnant and Chris Carter had to figure out what to do with her. Hence her abduction and absence from many episodes of season two.
The third episode that really stands out in season one is "Beyond the Sea." While this isn't a mythology episode, it is one of the most significant episodes in the entire series in terms of defining Mulder and Scully as individuals and as a team. In this episode, Scully's father dies and she is desperate to believe that his ghost has contacted her. On the heels of Col. Scully's death, death row inmate Luthor Lee Boggs has requested to speak to Mulder in regard to the recent kidnapping and murder of a young couple. Boggs had been to death row once before but was granted a reprieve while sitting in the electric chair. Because of this experience, Boggs claims he can now channel the spirits of the dead. Scully wants more than anything to talk to her father through Boggs, but the eternal skeptic in her prevails by the end of the episode. "Beyond the Sea" is the basis for the Mulder/Scully belief conflict that pervades throughout the series. In this episode, we see that just because Scully practises the logic of hard science, she yearns for something more. Mulder knows this, which is why he never gives up on her.
I'm falling in love with this show all over again. The first season has its problems - real money isn't being spent on the show yet and Mark Snow is still using some stock creepy music. Scully looks a little frumpy, Mulder's hair is huge, and the cell phones are even more huge. But the little things that look funny now are charming and the outdated computers, landlines, and bepers don't take away from the story. In fact, it's kind of fun to remember what life was like in the mid 90s. The stories are just as good. If you loved The X-Files back in the day, it's worth a rewatch. Just try your best to put Californication out of your mind. Yeah, Mulder was a total perv with a ginormous porn collection and a death prediction of autoerotic asphyxiation, but his heart belonged to Scully. And my heart belongs to them, forever and ever.